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Not movies, movies have always been my thing, but critics? Not my thing. Until now. I have been reintroduced to Roger Ebert.

I grew up watching Siskel and Ebert  on TV and as much as I disliked Ebert on television, I would almost always, grudgingly, agree with his take on films. After Gene Siskel passed away and Ebert took on this Roeper dude, I basically stopped watching.

However, since moving to Erie, and since Sailor Man isn’t into films as much as I am, I often have no one to bounce my movie viewing experiences off of. Recently, after seeing a film I hadn’t quite digested, I started looking at review sites. Rotten Tomatoes  is okay, but sometimes it fells like the critics are trying to out-do each other with the sound-bytes, so after some more looking, I came across Roger Ebert’s column in the Chicago Sun Times.

What can I say? I had simply had no idea that Roger Ebert was such a damn fine writer. His reviews are insightful, incisive, and so heartfelt and sincere that when he writes that he loves a movie, you know he really loves a movie. What I also like about his critiques is that he always manages to pull something out the film that I hadn’t quite considered in such or way (if I have already seen the film), or he makes mentions an aspect that makes me want to see a film I would otherwise ignore.

For example “Shoot ’em Up”, starring Clive Owen, yummy, yummy, Clive, and Paul Giamati (I love him but he’s not at all yummy), a movie so strange and fantastical it left me in the theater, after the credits, going “huh”. I knew I liked it, but I had no idea why. I knew there was plenty to make it a bad film, but it just didn’t come across that way. This was when I started looking for the reviews on line to see what other people through of it.

Reading Ebert’s review, it gave an exact voice to what I wasn’t able to verbalize: how good and bad and ugly all around the movie is. I have to say, I’m hooked. I find myself going to his website and looking up reviews of old movies, new movies and everything I’ve probably seen in the last few years.

It’s like I have a new best friend.

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